Get a Running Start at Clark

College hosts two information nights for high school students and their parents      

Running Start Open House

A student gets assistance during an annual open house event for Running Start students that’s held at the Clark College Bookstore during the start of each fall quarter.

High school sophomores and juniors can learn how to take the next step in their education by attending one of two optional Running Start Information Night sessions at Clark College.

The identical sessions will be held 7:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, and Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in the Clark College gymnasium in the O’Connell Sports Center, located on the southwest corner of Clark College’s main campus.

Running Start allows eligible juniors and seniors to earn college credit while they fulfill their high school graduation requirements. Running Start students attend Clark classes along with “regular” college students. They can choose from a full range of academic and professional/technical courses as long as the students meet the criteria and the classes are college-level.

The program, which can significantly reduce the cost of a four-year college degree, has proven popular in Southwest Washington. Some Running Start students are so motivated that they earn their associate degree from Clark at the same time that they earn their high school diploma. According to Associate Director of Running Start Linda Calvert, these annual information nights frequently attract hundreds of interested students and parents to the college, which is why the college hosts two sessions. In fall 2013, Clark College welcomed 1,904 Running Start students, surpassing all other Running Start enrollments in the state community college system.

Running Start Open House

Associate Director of Running Start Linda Calvert, far left, supplying information to students at the Bookstore’s Running Start Open House in 2012.

These information sessions are for students and parents who want to know more about beginning the program in fall 2014. Calvert explained, “These optional sessions provide a great chance to hear current Running Start students candidly describe their experiences in the program. You’ll also hear about the eligibility criteria, testing procedures, deadlines, and more.”

Running Start students pay for books, transportation, and some fees, but do not pay full Clark College tuition. Students can be part-time or full-time in Running Start. Fees are subject to change by the Washington State Legislature. Fee waivers and limited textbook assistance are available for those demonstrating financial need.

Linda Calvert noted, “Running Start is not for everyone. It requires not only college-level skills, but also college-level maturity. Successful program participants are generally self-motivated and looking for additional academic challenges. Students frequently tell us that they like the learning environment at the college and the ability to gradually sample the college environment.”

Clark College is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way in Vancouver, Wash. Parking will be available in the college’s red lots on the east side of Fort Vancouver Way and in the purple lot on the west side of Fort Vancouver Way. Driving directions and parking maps are available at

Individuals who need accommodation due to a disability in order to fully participate in this event should contact Clark College’s Disability Support Services Office at 360-992-2314 or 360-991-0901 (VP), or visit Gaiser Hall Room 137 two weeks in advance of the events.

For information about Running Start Information Nights, call 360-992-2366.